Planet Rugby

Preview: Scarlets v Edinburgh

28th February 2013 12:57

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Edinburgh woe

Edinburgh: Out to end 10-match losing streak against the Scarlets

Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley has kept faith in the bulk of his young side for their Pro12 return to Wales to face Scarlets on Friday.

The inclusion of Ben Cairns at outside centre in place of the suspended Nick De Luca is the only change to the back division. In the pack, the release of David Denton from Scotland's Six Nations squad sees him back at number eight.

Prop Allan Jacobsen gets his first start at loosehead since January while hooker Steven Lawrie - a late withdrawal last weekend - has been passed fit to start the match.

Scarlets edged the last meeting at Murrayfield (29-28) with 23 points from 20-year-old pivot Harry Leonard keeping the hosts in contention up to the death.

"It's clear we're in desperate need of a win and the players have worked exceptionally hard, in some very vocal and physical training sessions, as we prepare mentally and physically to front up to one of the top teams in the division in their own back yard," said Bradley.

"The players are well aware that the performances haven't been up to scratch this season but I've been impressed by their resolve, their commitment and attention to detail in how they can improve and rally together."

Form: Scarlets' three game winning run in all competitions ended with their 5-32 reversal in Leinster on Saturday. The Welshmen have won their last three fixtures at Parc y Scarlets since Clermont Auvergne won there, 29-0, in the European Cup on 19 January. Scarlets have won their last four home games against Scottish visitors. Edinburgh have slipped to ten successive defeats in all tournaments - their worst run in the professional era. Edinburgh's only win on their last 14 visits to Wales in all competitions since December 2009 was 21-19 over Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park in the RaboDirect PRO12 on 7 September 2012. Scarlets have taken four of their last five encounters with Edinburgh, whilst the Scotsmen's only previous victory at Parc y Scarlets was 17-16 in the PRO12 on 4 December 2009.

The teams:

Scarlets: tbc

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Richie Rees, 8 David Denton, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Sean Cox (c), 4 Perry Parker, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Steven Lawrie, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 John Yapp, 18 Alex Allan, 19 Robert McAlpine, 20 Netani Talei, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Tom Brown.

Date: Friday 1 March
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Kick-off: 19:05 GMT
Referee: tba (Italy)
Assistant referees: Tim Hayes (Wales), Greg Morgan (Wales)
Television match official: Paul Adams (Wales)

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